If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time scrolling through streaming sites looking for new shows to binge without actually trying anything because you have very strict criteria for what you’ll actually spend time watching. For me, these criteria includes interesting plots, well-developed characters, good use of humor, and tasteful violence that doesn’t make me want to throw up whatever microwave food I’ve made. So, with these criteria in mind, here are five shows that I can confidently proclaim are badass and worth your time.
A brand-spanking-new adventure from Ex Machina and Annihilation director Alex Gardener, Devs is an in-progress series dealing with humanity, technology, and a good dose of conspiratorial intrigue. Sonoya Mizuno is stunning as lead Lily Chan, computer engineer and intrepid detective into the mysterious death of her boyfriend, and provides a truly badass performance. Nick Offerman’s performance as Forest, the shadowy head of the devious tech company Amaya, is also one you don’t want to miss. Devs is available for streaming on Hulu.
Listen, if you don’t think comedy is badass then you might not want to read the rest of the list. They’re not all comedies, but they’ve all got that crucial quality of inducing a good belly-laugh. However, Derry Girls is definitely the funniest on the list. Set in northern Ireland during the politically tumultuous 1990s, referred to as the Troubles, Derry Girls follows the experiences of four highschool girls just trying to survive at an all-girls Catholic high school amidst the complete societal upheaval of the Troubles. The true humor of the show comes from the girls’ daily encounters in school and the cognitive dissonance stemming from their desire to kiss boys while roaming streets filled with armed police. Derry Girls is available for streaming on Netflix.
Confession: I love Aidy Bryant. She was hilarious on SNL and she continues to be hilarious on Shrill. Streaming on Hulu, Shrill follows Annie, a journalist and self-proclaimed fat girl. While I initially had reservations in starting Shrill because fatness is often played off for slapstick humor, I found it to be a breath of fresh air. While Annie’s weight comes into play often and is used to bill the show, Annie’s growth and experiences as a human being are valued far above a cheap joke.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
So, it might be a stretch to dub Everything’s Gonna Be Okay as badass because it’s a feelgood show and doesn’t really delve into any significant or palpable badassery. However, it’s the first sugary kind of show in a long time that I’ve gotten hooked on, so I feel that’s enough of a feat to call it badass. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay has a kind of Full House vibe, if Full House was a little less full. Streaming on Hulu, this familial comedy-drama centers around the neurotic Nicholas as he steps into the father-figure role for his two half-sisters after the untimely death of their father. It’s a typical setup for a show, but the real individuality comes from the performances of Kayla Cromer and Maeve Press as Matilda and Genevieve, Nicholas’ teenage sisters. If you’re looking for a funny show with a lot of heart, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay might just be for you.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
My personal favorite of this list, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reinvents the popular Archie comics character as a troubled teenager splitting her time between the everyday trials of being a teenager and the demands of her family’s witchy heritage. Darkly funny and darkly disturbing, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina never ceases to scare and surprise. While the show may certainly be too scary for some, it’s definitely more appropriate for a wider audience than shows like American Horror Story. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is available for streaming on Netflix.